Monday, 08 August, Year 8 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Respiroi recounts the story of Grazia, the wife of a superb Moor head. Grazia doesn't fit in.

It's not altogether hard to see why she wouldn't - a good half of the time and energy of the monkey-like inhabitants of the tiny corner of Sicily she lives upon is spent woman-herding. This behaviour, consisting of exactly what you'd expect, is perhaps unknown, perhaps even incomprehensible to you. Nevertheless, it is normative for human society throughout its geographic and temporal expansion, which far exceed both your own experience as well as the (very limited) relevancy of your monoculture. Most women in most places lived their entire lives in a herd of women, exactly like the one Grazia lives in, along with her daughters ; along with their daughters.

It's a complicated, mixed bag, including the ambiguous sexual presence of the woman's own sons, who are in fact more men than they are her children, and so perceive female freedom as alternative herding and naught else ; including the conclave of crones, the clotting agent of traditional Mediterranean society - always present at the spot of disturbance and consequently sharing a lot with the perception of crowsii ; including the abyssal, indescriptible love that can unite unlike things such as a woman and a man, but can't generally be even represented, let alone experienced, by any other ontological categories.

I would say Respiro does rise to the bar of tragedy, for the very simple and to me obvious reason that perfectly usable alternate routes were available to Grazia, and to Pietro, that wouldn't have led to doom and damnation. The husband could at any point have set proper limits upon the wife, and thereby rescued her from confusion. He chooses not to, and this choice is folly. The wife, more sensible, as always more sensible, does in fact stand on her right and speaks, but only when the knife scrapes bone : she does eject the "social workers" from her property - something that she actually has the indisputable (and undisputed) right to do, as alodial owner of the god damned house. She could have done the exact thing to a proper extent and earlier, rescuing everyone else from confusion. She doesn't intuit she has to, and more generally she doesn't perceive herself strong enough to, which perception may even be correct, but in any case the specific cowardice therein contained does not actually sit ill on a woman. She is after all to raise children, not to win wars, right ? There's men enough for that. Aren't there ?

The liberation of the dogs is an unspeakable scene. Let us leave it then unspoken. The end.

  1. 2002, by Emanuele Crialese, with Valeria Golino, Vincenzo Amato. []
  2. There's a truly ancient tradition of regarding the collective of old women as the definitive mediator, which is how the Fates ended up three infirm old women. []
Category: Trilematograf
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